A web site for the developing language teacher

Profile of a language learner
by Scott Shelton

- 6

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix E2
Appendix E5

Appendix A

Learner Profile

In order to complete some of the work for my Teacher Development course, and to be able to have better insight into the individuals that make up this class, I would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer the following questions below. If you find any of the questions to be too personal, feel free to leave them blank.

1. How long have you been learning English? Please recount any particularly positive or negative previous learning experience that you have brought to this course.

2. What are you personal interests outside of school?

3. What do you do for a living? Do you enjoy it? Do you find knowing English at work useful? In what way?

4. Do you feel you have enough time to dedicate to your English studies? If not, do you think that this is affecting your progress in this course?

5. Which of the following best reflects your views of English?
a. I need to improve my English to pass this exam.
b. I feel comfortable using English at work and in social situations.
c. English is useful and necessary to know in Spain.
d. I see learning English as an opportunity, not as a problem to be solved.
e. Your own answer

6. What are your learning preferences? Do you feel that you learn better:
a. Alone, with the teacher directing the whole class?
b. In pairs?
c. In small groups, reporting back to the class?
d. In large groups completely on your own?
e. Other (explain)

7. Do you think you personally learn better by: (circle one or more)
a. Doing things? b. Seeing things? c. Hearing things? d. Being in physical contact with things?

Or more concretely…(please circle the ones that matter most)

Do you like learning by : f. Copying off the board?
a. Memory? . g. Listening and taking notes?
b. Problem solving? h. By reading and taking notes?
c. Getting information for yourself? i. Repeating what you hear?
d. Listening
e. Reading?

8. How do you prefer to be corrected?
a. Immediately, in front of everyone
b. Later, at the end of the activity, in front of everyone.
c. Later, in private.
d. Other

9. Do you mind if other students sometimes correct your written work?
Do you think it can help you as a writer:

10. Do you mind if your teacher asks you to correct your own work?
Do you think that this can help you as a writer?

Appendix B

Needs Analysis

Please take some time at home and answer any and all questions you feel comfortable about answering and those that you feel are relevant. This information will help your teacher to have a better understanding of you and the others on this course and will have an effect on how it is taught. Please answer as briefly or as in depth as you like.

1. In your opinion, is this course presently fulfilling your needs and requirements for passing the CAE exam? If not, how would you prefer to proceed and what do you think needs to be done?

2. What were your expectations of this course before you began? How close to reality were they?

3. Do you feel you know what is expected on each paper of the exam?
If not, how would you rather receive more information-directly from your teacher during class time or by reading relevant sections of Cambridge published material?

4. Do you feel that you are making progress? If not, what do you think could help you progress more?

5. What are your views of the course book and supplementary materials used on this course? Are they relevant to your needs? Do you find them interesting? If not, what more is needed, in your opinion?

6. What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses? Reading writing listening speaking?
Do you feel that your pronunciation is adequate for your present needs?

7. What do you feel are the areas you need to work on most? Are you getting sufficient practice and input on these areas in class?
Which part of the exam do you feel most confident about?

8. Do you think you are reading and writing enough both inside and outside of class in order to be able to deal with the exam requirements?
If not, how do you think this could be remedied?

9. Are there any particular problems you are having on this course? Do you feel that you teacher is aware of this and provides opportunities to work on this area in class?

10. Do you feel that your teacher is well prepared and uses class time wisely? If not, please comment on how you think this could be improved upon.

Appendix C
(see J. Wingate's 'learning preferences' in LTP (10/2000) issue 17)

Appendix D

Learner types Questionnaire

Rate the following from one (I don't like) to five (I like a lot)

Group 1
In class I like talking in pairs 12345
In class I like talking about pictures 12345
In class I like talking about films 12345 68%
In class I like talking about video 12345
In class I like listening to cassettes 12345
I like practicing English outside class 12345

Group 2
I like studying grammar 12345
I like reading English books 12345
I like reading English newspapers 12345 56%
I like studying alone 12345
I like finding my own mistakes 12345
I like working on problems set by the teacher 12345

Group 3
I like to learn by watching 12345
I like listening to native speakers 12345
I like talking to friends in English 13245 66%
I like watching TV in English 12345
I like learning new words by hearing them 12345
I like learning by conversation 12345

Group 4
I prefer the teacher to explain everything 12345
I like to have a textbook in a course 12345
I like to write everything in a notebook 12345
I like studying grammar 12345 76%
I like to learn by reading 12345
I like to learn new words by hearing them 12345

Type one - 'concrete'- These learners tend to like games, pictures, films, video, using cassettes, talking in pairs and practicing English outside class.

Type two -'analytical' - These learners like studying grammar, studying English books and reading newspapers, studying alone, finding their own mistakes and working on problems set by the teacher.

Type three - 'communicative' - These learners like to learn by watching, listening to native speakers, talking to friends in English and watching TV in English, using English out of class in shops, trains and so on, learning new words by hearing them, and learning by conversations.

Type four - 'authority oriented' - These learners prefer the teacher to explain everything, like to have their own course book, like to write everything in a notebook, like to study grammar, like to learn by reading and learn new words by seeing them.

Appendix E

Breakdown of different sections of CAE exam used in the diagnostic test and guidelines of expectations based on successful completion of the exam.

The reading section (4 parts)
Candidates are expected to be able to read and understand texts taken from magazines, newspapers, leaflets, etc. They should demonstrate a variety of reading skills including skimming, scanning, deduction of meaning from context and selection of relevant information to complete the given task. There are four compulsory texts, giving a total of about 3,000 words. There are forty to fifty questions. The three main task types are: multiple matching, multiple choice and gapped text.

For purposes of the diagnostic test, the first three texts were used from an exam practice book. There were a total of 29 questions.

The writing section (2 parts)
Candidates are expected to complete non-specialist writing tasks in response to the stimuli provided (input text and task descriptions). The input texts are taken from article, leaflets, notices, formal and informal letters, etc. Both audience and purpose are made clear in the task descriptions.

The first part is compulsory and candidates must complete one or more tasks in response to reading input, which is usually made up of several short texts.

This is the section that was chosen for the diagnostic test, as it is the compulsory part and contained the task of writing both a formal letter and a brief, informal letter as well.

The second part (not included in the diagnostic test) involves choosing one or four tasks from a range of writing activities (letters, article, instructions, messages, etc.). Responses should be about 250 words in length.

The listening section (4 parts)
Candidates are expected to understand each text as a whole, gain detailed understanding and appreciate gist and the attitude of the speaker. They must also be able to identify and interpret the context. Texts take the form of announcements, speeches, radio broadcasts, etc.

There are four parts lasting approximately forty-five minutes in all, with a total of thirty to forty questions. The first two parts consist of two short monologues, the third of a longer dialogue/interview and the fourth of conversational extracts. The tasks candidates are asked to perform include the following: information transfer, multiple choice, various types of matching and note completion.

For purposes of the diagnostic test, sections one, two and four were chosen.

The speaking section
The speaking paper is conducted by two examiners with a pair of candidates. They must be able to demonstrate a range of oral skills: interactional, social, transactional, negotiation and collaboration. The test lasts about fifteen minutes.

The candidates first respond to one another's and the Interlocutor's questions about their interests, careers, etc. Each candidate is then given a set of visual stimuli which serves to encourage a 'long turn' from each candidate. The final two parts are linked. The candidates first complete a collaborative task. This is followed by further discussion between candidates and the Interlocutor on points, which have arisen from the collaborative task.

For the purpose of the diagnostic test, I conducted the speaking exam with Beatriz and a classmate who volunteered to be her partner in order to retain exam like authenticity.

The use of English section
Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge of the language system by completing tasks based on authentic passages. They must complete six tasks with a total of eighty items. The tasks include the following types: cloze exercises, gap filling, proof-reading exercises, word formation exercises and text completion.

Appendix E2

1. To the editor

2. Dear Sir/Madam

3. I'm writting with regard to the incident which occurred outside Rex Cinema.

4. My name is Paul Deane and am the "American Tourist" who accompained

5. Malcom Taylor during the fatal day.

6. In orden to clearify the facts about that night, I would like to explain what it

7. really happened. After the show, my friend and me noticed how a young

8. man was attempting to steal Miss Erskine's handbag. Malcom ran bravely to

9. help her and although he couldn't catch the thief, the handbag was saved.

10. In this heroic action my friend got his face badly cut.

11. As I'm sure you'll have noticed, what happened and what your article

12. described had nothing to do with. Your article turned everything upside

13. down, either because a paragraph was missed or due to bad reporting.

14. It tends to misunderstands readers, making them think Malcom Taylor was

15. the aggresor. Many other facts have been modified: it is said Miss Erskine

16. got cut, when the truth is Malcom did. Not only this, but it is also said the

17. thief was arrested and that am American.

18. Such unforgivable mistakes can have only been caused by a horrendous

19. lack of information, and so I regard a clearifying article in which real facts

20. will be described in details, and also an apologise to my friend for this

21. disafortunate incident. If you ignore my letter I'll be forced to take legal

22. actions against your newspaper.

23. Yours faithfully, Paul Deane

Word count: 266

1. My dear Malcom:

2. Don't worry about those inepts, I've already written them and I'm sure they'll

3. rewritte the article.

4. None of your friends have ever believe those lyes. You are a wonderful man

5. In who we all trust.

6. Best wishes, Paul

Word count: 46

Appendix E5

Transcribed sections of the mock CAE oral interview between myself, Beatriz and Claudia, a classmate. I have transcribed my questions or instructions and Beatriz's answers as appropriate. The answers of the other student participating, Claudia, are also transcribed when appropriate.

Teacher: Please tell me what you know about Claudia.

1. Beatriz: Well, she's right now working, she's been living abroad quite, I

2. think, many years, I'm not sure about it. And she likes travelling and

3. learning languages…and she has ^ very good accent.

Teacher: Have you been studying English for a long time?

4. Beatriz: Yes, since I was three, at school

Teacher: Tell me, what do you think you will be doing in two months time?

5. Beatriz: Well, I hope I'll be in the beach because it will be summer. And I

6. hope I'll be with some of my friends having fun.

In this part of the interview, the candidates are to compare and contrast two or more pictures and say how the people might be feeling.

7. Beatriz: I can see in one of the pictures a man just up in a boat so he

8. could feel free as if he were flying as a bird and looking at the sea. And

9. in another one you can see a man just up in the mountain. It seems as

10. he has just climbed it because there is no other way to get up there. So

11. he must be just glad of himself as he could get through this because the

12. mountain is quite difficult to climb. And he can only see the clouds and

13. the ceiling and he might feel so free but not as the other one (person)

14. because the other one, he seems flying while in this one he feels glad of

15. himself, proud and very happy. The other one might be a little bit

16. frightened because can fall in any minute but I don't think he cares

17. because he's just going forward and looking at the sun. In the…there's

18. another one which is…is just in the ice, he might be freezing. But, well,

19. he seems, he's just, I think he's walking around. Probably he's one of

20. those person that like extreme sports.

After Claudia has had her minute comparing and contrasting pictures that show people taking a break, Beatriz was asked to comment on who she thinks needs a break the most.

21. Beatriz: Oh, um..I have no doubt about that. Just the man who is resting

22. from his work because he seems exhausted and depressed. I don't think

23. he can manage his work so he's completely confused and he can't think

24. about any other think about like different from his work.

In this part the two candidates are discussing a set of pictures of children and are asked to discuss together what aspects of childhood the pictures show and then decide on which would appeal to people most and how many to include in a set of stamps to commemorate an international children's day.

25. Beatriz: I really like the one on the bottom right corner where's a little

26. girl with her mom's shoes, I guess, and shows the innocencey of the

27. childhood and how little girls like to be as her mom. So I think it would

28. be a good stamp to put in the collection. Do you think the same about

29. the picture?

Claudia: Yes, I think it's a very nice picture and um…what about this one? Perhaps could be the first one. When a person is a child, it's like a baby

30. Beatriz: Yes.

Claudia: We could do a session of the pictures, starting with this one and then, the one on the right and then we can choose this one.

31. Beatriz: Yes, with the girl with the shoes just…

Claudia: the girl with the shoes

32. Beatriz: at the bottom

Claudia: and then which one would you think would be better, this one or the other one?

33. Beatriz: Well, I don't think the one in the Bea…about the bears, just in the middle…

Claudia: In the middle, yes

34. Beatriz: …it would be a good idea because, well…I don't think…I was

35. think about just little kids or maybe more older ones…but bears

Claudia: they are still with the mother, yes

36. Beatriz: yeah, but what do you think about this one, they are animals!

Claudia: yes, yes, I think that's ok but they are not independent at all so they are, they are keep with the mother but I think they are bears, the bears…uh…stay with their mother I think, more than two years or something like that.

37. Beatriz:Umm, I don't know…

Claudia: No?

38. Beatriz: But, I would rather just have pictures about little kids

Claudia: Um u-huh,Yes, yes. And here, at the left part at the bottom…ah.. there are children that are learning in the kindergarten, could be, they are children about four years do you think?

39. Beatriz: yeah probably. Because I don't think they can read

Claudia: they are start just looking pictures and learning the first words

40. Beatriz: Yes. And you can see how they are trying to see the book with

41. the pictures so they are…they want to learn and it shows how they are

42. growing up

Claudia: Mmm…which one do you think, this one or that one?

43. Beatriz: Well the one in the upper left bottom, I don't really like it

44. because…I don't know…I don't think the little kid's cute, or either the

45. picture.

Claudia: you don't like this picture?

46. Beatriz: not…not at all

Claudia: sun, sunflowers?

47. Beatriz: yes, but I don't think it can gets the people because isn't cute,

48. or it doesn't show anything about the kid

Claudia: you don't think so.

49. Beatriz: no

Claudia: And what about this one? I think they are indigens?

50. Beatriz: yes

Claudia: yes, could be from south america, or some part of this place?

51. Beatriz: yes, and it shows how they can also, well I think, how they can

52. also live in the forest and be happy-well what do you think?

Claudia: yes, perhaps, uh…well…they look very happy, they are smiling and I think they are…they have a nice…, and uh…well this one in the upper part? In the middle? I think it shows, uh…all the childhood and everything, here. Every kind of children and erm…

53. Beatriz: …any kind of nationality

Claudia: every nationalitys

Teacher: So, what did you decide? How many stamps and which ones are you going to include?

54. Beatriz: I think there were four, the one of the little kid…

Claudia: the girl with her mother's shoes…

55. Beatriz: Then the picture just drawn, like cartoons

Claudia: yes and the bears…

56. Beatriz: Well, I didn't think about the bears, I was thinking about the one

57. of the South African boys

Claudia: Yes, the one in the middle? The lower part in the middle?

58. Beatriz: Yes

Teacher: Do you think that an international children's day is a good idea?

59. Beatriz: Well, I think it would be a good idea if it really does

60. that…does something. Because if it's just the day and it doesn't get to

61. the kids because just older people know it, I don't think it works.

Teacher: If you were organizing a children's day, which age group would it be for and how would you arrange it?

62. Beatriz: Well, I would probably choose kids around ten years old

63. because they are old enough to understand what you are telling them

64. but also they are young enough to change their look at it, their view?

65. Because older one I don't think they would pay much attention. Don't you think so?

Claudia: Yes, I agree with you.

66. Beatriz: And how would you arrange it?

Claudia: with children approximately ten years old?

67. Beatriz: Yes

Claudia: Umm…what do you mean with…

68. Beatriz: Well, what would you do with them to, like, make them know it's

69. kid's day?

Claudia: Well, its very difficult to… to describe it in a few words, but, um…showing them some…some, uh…special pictures and giving them some…something to read or perhaps they can give you their own opinion about what would they want.

70. Beatriz: Yeah, I like the idea of the discussion…I would make them

71. discuss about the different points of view and also I would try to get

72. some foreign kids to, like, get friends of each other and to talk about

73. their countries and the differences between them.

Claudia: Yes, yes, it's very important because I think it's an international day, so we can choose children from different countries and from different …uh…um…places of the world

74. Beatriz: Yes, because if not maybe you can tell them the difference but

75. they don't really get them, well if they see the kid and he's telling about

76. his life and how he saw Spain…they'd probably really think about it.

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